The Pittsburgh Pirates beat the Colorado Rockies 4-3 in 14 innings Friday night. Both teams were shutout from the 7th inning on until the Pirates won things on a Jose Tabata walkoff double off the wall in right field.
The big question after the game was why the Rockies decided to pitch to Tabata with two outs and a man on in the 14th when relief pitcher Garrett Olson was on deck. Pittsburgh players were convinced a mind game intended to trick Colorado worked.
As Pirates writer Colin Dunlap explained, Pittsburgh sent Andrew McCutchen on deck even though he was really in the hole. They think seeing McCutchen on deck was enough to convince Colorado to throw to Tabata even though the right move would have been walking him to face the pitcher.
Tabata is Pittsburgh’s leadoff hitter and he’s batting .344 on the season. Olson is a relief pitcher who hardly ever bats. Nice call Jim Tracy, or maybe he just wanted to get out of there as soon as possible after the long night.